In our previous post, we began discussing the importance incorporating your digital assets into your estate plan. We’ve already spoken about compiling a list of one’s digital accounts and access information, storing this information properly and appointing a “digital executor.” Now we’ll speak about giving instructions for the disposition of the assets themselves.
Planning for digital assets is an aspect of estate planning that is receiving more and more attention these days, due to the growing use of online accounts. Most people have such accounts in one form or another. But what happens to these accounts when you die? Because these accounts can contain much value, they should be included in one’s estate planning.
Scott Taylor Smith, author of the book "When Someone Dies," recently wrote an article suggesting several important steps folks can take to make things easier on their loved ones when they die. Many, if not most, of these suggestions are routinely handled in the estate planning process. Some of them, however, may not be, so we'll take a look at what he says.
As part of its ongoing effort to address the national debt load and the possibility of hitting the "debt ceiling," the Obama administration has made a number of proposals that would increase income to the federal government and help alleviate the problem. As we've previously mentioned, some of these proposals will impact the estate planning process.
In our previous post, we began looking at how current proposals to cut spending and increase revenue could affect important estate planning tools. Last time, we looked specifically at how grantor retained annuity trusts could be affected, and we began to speak about intentionally defective grantor trusts.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act, passed not too long ago by Congress, was able to provide a measure of certainty for estate planners with respect to tax planning, but there is still uncertainty ahead because of political debates over government spending and revenue generation. Depending on the way lawmakers choose to tackle the problem, certain estate planning tools may be targeted.
The body of New York-based artist Merton D. Simpson, a painter well known for championing African art and who accumulated a collection worth millions of dollars, is in a bit of a predicament after last month's funeral. After the ceremony, the body of the art collector was not buried, but was instead returned to the funeral home in Charleston where it had been for more than two weeks since his death at the age of 84 early last month.
Trusts are very useful tools when it comes to estate planning. Their uses in this area include protecting and providing for children, tax planning benefits, professional management of assets, among others. But trusts do have their own unique challenges.
Among young people who receive sizeable inheritances, there are different groups. Some of them receive their inheritance and struggle with the responsibility of managing it. Many of them keep their money and are more or less successful in handling it. But a small group of these young people eschew their inheritance, choosing instead to give all or most of it away.
In a recent post, we mentioned that the recent American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 gave the estate planning community a long-awaited dose of permanence regarding tax policy.